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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

192                              Medicine
a host of difficulties. The texts are full of lexicographical prob-
lems, and it is often extremely difficult to find English equiva-
lents for the Egyptian names of the diseases, owing to the usual
lack of diagnosis and symptoms and to the inherent difficulties
in Egyptian modes of expression. As in anatomy, so also in
pathology, the terminology is large and varied, but a very large
number of terms, even common ones, we cannot yet translate.
A very considerable number of terms has, however, been identi-
fied with certainty, and a still larger number with considerable
probability, and we can accordingly perceive that, in general, the
maladies with which the papyri are concerned are those which
attack the fellahin of to-day. Intestinal troubles due to bad
water; ophthalmia and a large number of other affections of the
eyes; boils, sores, and bites of animals; dermatitis; bilharzia in-
fection; intestinal worms; mastoid and naso-pharyngeal diseases
—such are amongst those for which the ancient practitioner had
to find remedies. We meet also with prescriptions for treating
diseases of the lungs, liver, stomach, intestines, and bladder, for
various affections of the head and scalp (including such com-
plaints as alopecia and ointments to prevent the hair from falling
out or turning grey), for affections of the mouth, tongue, and
teeth, and of the nose, throat, and ear. There is a long series
of remedies for rheumatoid and arthritic complaints and for
diseases of women. Added to these medical prescriptions there
are household remedies for getting rid of fleas, flies, snakes, and*
other vermin. In short, the general make-up of the papyri
closely resembles the leech-books of the Middle Ages and the
household recipe books of later days.
§vL Surgery
Mention has already been made of the Edwin Smith Papyrus
which deals with wounds in the head and thorax, with the con-
cluding portion of the Ebers Papyrus which deals with boils,
cysts, and the like, and with the Kahun Papyrus which is con-